FT: Fulham 3 West Ham 1

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FULL-TIME: Fulham record a 3-1 win against West Ham to send them into mid-table. Dimitar Berbatov gave them an early lead. Kevin Nolan equalised but Hugo Rodallega hit back just 33 second later and a Joey O'Brien own goal put the icing on the cake for Martin Jol's side.

West Ham should have been rewarded with a penalty as John Arne Riise handles the ball with Andy Carroll ready to chest it down, but nothing is given.

Fulham are finishing the match a lot stronger as Mladen Petric beats two defenders before seeing his shot blocked. Very unlucky!

Fulham make West ham pay with a goal on the break. Hugo Rodallega's low drive from the edge of the box is parried out by Jussi Jaaskelainen only to Mladen Petric, who drives the ball back from an acute angle and it takes a touch of the Republic of Ireland defender Joey O'Brien for an unforrtunate own goal.


The ball doesn't quite break for West Ham in the area as Carlton Cole holds his ankle after taking a knock.

One-way traffic now as West Ham pile men forward until Mohamed Diame gives the ball away.

Andy Carroll wins the header in Fulham's box, but James Tomkins doesn't know what to do when it arrives at his head and can only lump it over the crossbar.

Sam Allardyce knows how bad his side's away record is, but they're giving it a shot in the closing stages at Craven Cottage.

Hugo Rodallega shows fine strength before hitting a fine half-volley wide of the target from the right edge of the area.

Steve Sidwell's mistake allows Mark Noble to find Andy Carroll, but he blasts his left-footer over the crossbar.

Senderos is still getting some attention as Fulham prepare to take a corner. Damien Duff's cross is cleared though.

Philippe Senderos is sitting down on the field receiving some medical attention.

GOOD SAVE! Steve Sidwell sends Mladen Petric away down the right, but his low drive is well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Nice play by Fulham as Damien Duff runs inside which allows John Arne Riise to get his strike away, but it was always rising.

@LauOLau Tweets: "Oh No. Not Berbatov!" Yes Laura, it was a hammy I'm affraid. He could well miss the Man Utd game now.

And within 30 seconds of coming on Andy Carroll tests Mark Schwarzer with a stinging drive.

SUBSTITUTION: And big Andy Carroll is on as he replaces Joe Cole.

SUBSTITUTION: Dimitar Berbatov is replaced by Mladen Petric.

Bootsiewhu87 Tweets: "WHU fan. All need to get off big Sams back you all sound like Chelsea fans was always going to be a tough season!"

INJURY!! Dimitar Berbatov looks to have pulled his hamstring here. That's bad news for Martin Jol, who is walking along the touchline to see if he can continue.

JUST WIDE!! Magic play by Dimitar Berbatov who looks for the far corner with the outside of his boot, but it's just wide.

Nothing comes from that corner, but they win another one although Dimitar Berbatov heads away. This is a sustained period of pressure from the visitors now.

FINE SAVE!! Kevin Nolan shrugs off Philippe Senderos before looking to curl his right-foot effort into the far corner, but Mark Schwarzer gets a vital touch to the ball to send it behind for a corner.

AaronKing1306 jokes: "My 10 year old sister knows more tactics than Allardyce."

The Hammers are not giving up without a fight and look most likely to get the next goal with the Cottagers happy to counter-attack.

SUBSTITUTION: Matt Taylor comes on for West Ham at full-back as he replaces Guy Demel.

SUBSTITUTIONS: A double change for Martin Jol's side. Ashkan Dejagah and Chris Baird come on for Giorgos Karagounis and Bryan Ruiz.

@JoshMayy did send me another Tweet after Nolan's equaliser which said: "Nolan just doesn't cut it anymore" I stand corrected." Talk about eating your own words.

Dimitar Berbatov makes a mistake on the dge of the area which allows Kevin Nolan to get his snap-shot away, but Mark Schwarzer holds on.

Joe Cole's right-foot cross looks for Kevin Nolan, but the ball flicks up in the air for Mark Schwarzer to grasp.

@ryan_westby Tweets: "Fulham staying strong, we need the mometum for the game against united on Saturday, COME ON YOU WHITES!!!! Happy B'day Berba."

Brede Hangeland is a foot away from reaching the ball into the box.

Dimitar Berbatov is clipped by Mohamed Diame and Mark Noble for a free-kick.

James Price is back in touch: "Time to bring Carroll on... Time for him to start earning his over-inflated wages for once!!"

YELLOW CARD: Andy Carroll is waiting patiently on the bench as Sascha Riether is shown a yellow card after bringing down the superb Mohamed Diame.

SUBSTITUTION: Marouane Chamakh, who has had a disappointing game, is replaced by Carlton Cole for Sam Allardyce's side.

@tomomalono Tweets: "Typical West Ham we hit back and think that is it! We are awful at back! We are looking like a championship team!"

Joe Cole sends in a fine ball looking for Marouane Chamakh, but Fulham manage to clear.

Giorgos Karagounis gets his side a free-kick which is wasted despite there being five players around the ball.

Amazing start to this second half with West Ham going to sleep after restoring parity.

Just 33 seconds after West Ham's equaliser, Damien Duff's left-wing cross is headed into the back of the net by the attacking Colombian forward.


Nolan scores his 99th career goal after he turns home Mark Noble's quick free-kick from a tight angle. Poor marking from Dimitar Berbatov!


Giorgos Karagounis hacks the ball anywhere as Guy Demel delivers a delicious ball into the box.

@JoshMayy isn't happy either. He says: "Nolan just doesn't cut it anymore."

Bright start from the Hammers and Matt Jarvis' cross is turned away.

West Ham get the second period underway at Craven Cottage then.

@ajspencer81 Tweets: "Big Sam isnt the only one needing to stand up and be counted! The players are the ones that need to perform."

Debi Smith an very unhappy life long hammer says: "We are rubbish.. About time Sam went he did his job by gettin us up but has no inspiration, for the Prem with this team."

James Price writes in to say: "I'm a huge West Ham fan, but we need a manager with a West Ham heart & soul, but who will not take any nonsense from the players... Paulo Di Canio, we need you maestro!!!"

If you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.

Fulham are now 4/11 to win this game with our friends @SkyBet while West Ham are 8/1 and the draw is 3/1. Fulham have won just two of their previous 17 Premier League matches against West Ham, but Dimitar Berbatov has put them ahead at the break. I went for a pre-match prediction of a 1-1 draw, which was priced at a steady 11/2 and is now 4/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.

HALF-TIME: Birthday boy Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal of the first half with a controversial header after seven minutes. He headed home Damien Duff's inswinging free-kick, although he looked suspiciously in an offside position along with three other players when the ball was delivered. Kevin Nolan came close to restoring parity for the Hammers, but he could only direct Mohamed Diame's neat delivery wide of the near post.

Joe Cole's corner causes problems for Fulham before the men in white eventually break in numbers but Mohamed Diame eventually breaks things up.

SO CLOSE! Dimitar Berbatov shrugs off Joe Cole before lashing his right-foot strike inches wide of the near post with Jussi Jaaskelainen beaten.

Joe Cole just goes a fraction too early and is caught in an offside position from Mohamed Diame's low through ball.

Mohamed Diame gets past three Fulham playesr before letting himself down with an aimless ball over the top.

@tomomalono Tweets: "Allardyce just ain't cutting it! I'm not saying get him out but he needs to step up soon!"

The Hammers have collected just eight points from a possible 33 in the Premier League, which is concerning the West Ham supporters.

If the scores stay like this then Fulham will go above West Ham into 13th position in the table.

Giorgos Karagounis' cuts across the ball with a long-rage strike but Winston Reid makes the block.

Fulham then break through Hugo Rodallega, but he is seemingly pulled back by Guy Demel, although he does get the decision.

The Hammers win a free-kick in the centre circle and Mark Noble's ball into the box is cleared by Giorgos Karagounis.

Dimitar Berbatov spins the ball over, but it takes a deflection off Mark Noble and Mark Schwarzer claims it in the air.

Jack Allum is back in touch to say: "We shouldn't make excuses. Linesman made a shocking decision, but under Allardyce we are dreadful. Paolo Di Canio! Paolo Di Canio!"

Decent spell from West Ham until the flag goes up for an offside decision on the far side.

YELLOW CARD! Steve Sidwell does slide in with his studs showing and deserves the booking.

Mohamed Diame and Steve Sidwell clash in the middle of the park and referee Chris Foy is calling the Fulham man over to him.

GREAT CHANCE! That's better from West Ham! Mohamed Diame's beautiful cross from the left is met by Kevin Nolan at the near post, but he can only direct the ball wide of the target.

West ham do like to cross the ball from out wide, but there is a lack of quality behind them as Matt Jarvis shows by clipping it behind for a goal kick.

The big Australian takes a heavy landing before getting up rather gingerly.

Good pressure from Steve Sidwell, but the Hammers win a throw in Fulham territory and Matt Jarvis' cross is well taken by Mark Schwarzer.

CLOSE! Better stuff from Sam Allardyce's men, although Hugo Rodallega finds Damien Duff with a neat pass and the winger lashes his shot wide of the far post. Unlucky!

CHANCE! The game has slowed down since that opening goal although West Ham are keeping the ball better and Guy Demel's cross from the right is met by Matt Jarvis at the back post, but the ball flies over the crossbar.

Oliver Flood emails in to say: "You can always rely on Berbatov, especially on his birthday!" Great call Oliver...he's 32 today. What a way to celebrate your birthday hey!

Fulham keep the ball in the middle of the park as we pass the midway point in this half.

Jack, a huge Hammers fan says: "West ham need to win, end of. We might win a bit more with a different manager. Allardyce has lost it for me, on an absolutely dreadful run. 2 wins in 15..."

Joe Cole's dangerous delivery from the Fulham right is headed away superbly by Sascha Riether with Matt Jarvis breathing down his neck.

Giorgos Karagounis is rolling around on the sidelines after taking a knock. As he receives some medical attention, Dimitar Berbatov gives the ball away with a lazy pass.

The Hammers have made a limp start here at Craven Cottage and now Hugo Rodallega sends his dipping effort over the crossbar after loose play in the middle of the park by Joe Cole.

Meanwhile, West Ham fan Mike Barlow says: "Looks like they are returning to the lower leagues after a season with the more experienced teams, in like a lion and out like a lamb."

@LauOLau Tweets: "If we (Fulham) fail to win at home vs West Ham. We're in serious trouble this season." You're doing well so far Laura!

Joe Cole's corner kick is headed out and then Mohamed Diame sends it back in, but it's too long.

CONTROVERSY! That goal was rather controversial because replays show that three Fulham players looked to be in an offside position when Damien Duff sent that ball over. Dimitar Berbatov did look across to the linesman before going off to celebrate his goal.

Damien Duff looks to find Hugo Rodallega with a long ball, but Jussi Jaaskelainen comes out to claim the ball.

A great start for Fulham as the Bulgarian scores his eighth goal of the season with a simple header at the bak post from Damien Duff's inswinging free-kick from the right. Anyone of three players could have scored that after some dreadful marking by West Ham defenders.


Martin Jol does have new signing Emmanuel Frimpong on the bench tonight. The man on loan from Arsenal is watching on from the bench.

Now Damien Duff drags his shot wide of the far post after a neat first touch.

GOOD SAVE! Jussi Jaaskelainen parries Bryan Ruiz's shot away from the edge of the area in the first real chance of the game.

At the other end Hugo Rodallega gets sloppy as he tries to control the ball out of defence.

Matt Jarvis gets away with a handball decision to win his side a corner. The ball into the box causes problems before Brede Hangeland clears his lines.

@crawfordffc Tweets: "We have to win or people are going to start to worry soon, 2-0 or 2-1 for me."

A nervous start from both sides as Winston Reid gets an important touch on the ball to deny Bryan Ruiz an early opportunity.

Andy Jones emails in to say: "The Hammers need to respond after last week against Arsenal and should do with this squad. If not, the rest of the season is going to become all about staying in the Premier League."

This is a big game for both sides and whoever comes out on top will be the more confident going ahead. Dimitar Berbatov looks for the run of Bryan Ruiz, but the ball is cut out.

A bright start from the visitors with Joe Cole looking to get in the box and lashes his right-foot effort wide of the mark.

As usual, we have another packed house. Fulham are wearing their traditional white shirts, black shorts and white socks. The Hammers are in their claret and blue shirts, white shorts and striped socks.

The sides are on their way out at Craven Cottage. The pitch is in decent condition, while there is a bit of a breeze in west London tonight.

@R_barnes95 Tweets: "COYIS should get a solid performance and a massive three points tonight under our belt. Big Sam has put a good solid squad."

William Spearing emails in and says: "West Ham team looking strong tonight. Our lack of a clinical finisher is killing us. Hope Chamakh does the business tonight, if we lose this we are in relegation battle!"

@AaronMortimore is first to Tweet me this evening and he says: "West Ham will have to be looking to get at least a 2-0 win with Chamakh on the scoresheet for confidence."

Don't forget, if you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

With both sides looking to rediscover some form, Fulham are marginal favourites at 13/10 with West Ham 2/1 and the draw 12/5 with our friends @SkyBet. The Cottagers' Dimitar Berbatov is favourite to bag the first goal for the hosts at 9/2. He is 7/1 to bag a brace and 5/4 to net anytime. Hugo Rodallega is 7/1 while Damien Duff is 9/1 to score first and Ashkan Dejagah is 14/1. Meanwhile, Carlton Cole has scored in each of his last five Premier League starts against Fulham, and he's 7/1 to score tonight, although he starts on the bench. Marouane Chamakh does start and is also 7/1 while Joe Cole is an 11/1 shot. Fulham have won just two of their previous 17 Premier League matches against West Ham, so I'm hedging my bets and going for a draw - 1-1, which is priced at a steady 11/2. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.

FULHAM TEAM NEWS: Fulham make three alterations for the clash, bringing in Philippe Senderos, Giorgos Karagounis and Hugo Rodallega. Simon Davies is named amongst the substitutes and is hoping to make his first appearance since March.

WEST HAM TEAM NEWS: Andy Carroll returns to the West Ham squad for the first time in two months tonight. The 24-year-old has not played for the Hammers since November 28 due to a knee injury, but has been named on the bench at Craven Cottage. Sam Allardyce makes four changes to the side defeated 5-1 by Arsenal last time out, with Matt Jarvis, Mohamed Diame, Joe Cole and Marouane Chamakh all coming in.

FULHAM: Schwarzer; Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise; Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Rodallega; Ruiz, Berbatov.

SUBSTITUTES: Etheridge, Baird, Petric, Frimpong, Hughes, Dejagah, Davies.

WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien; Diame, Noble, Nolan; Jarvis, Chamakh, J Cole.

SUBSTITUTES: Henderson, Carroll, C Cole, Vaz Te, Taylor, Pogatetz, O'Neil.

REFEREE: Chris Foy (Lancashire).

Here come the teams...

The early team news indicates that West Ham striker Andy Carroll is on the bench tonight. The £35m England centre-forward, who is on a season-long loan from Liverpool, has been out since November 28th with a knee injury. He terrorised Fulham when he made his Hammers debut in the reverse fixture at Upton Park. New signing Emanuel Pogatetz goes straight into the squad although George McCartney (knee), James Collins (hamstring) and Dan Potts (concussion) are all missing. Emmanuel Frimpong is in line to make his Fulham debut. The 21-year-old joined on loan from Arsenal on Friday, while fellow midfielder Simon Davies is back in training after a sustained period on the sidelines. Kieran Richardson (calf), Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are all absent.

Fulham will be looking to bounce back after the weekend's FA Cup thumping at Manchester United at Old Trafford, and end a poor run of form which has seen them win just two of their last fifteen league games. The Cottagers are in the midst of a sticky patch and sit 14th, just six points off the drop zone. Meanwhile, West Ham come into this London derby with a dreadful record of seven away losses. Only Reading have lost more games on the road than the Hammers this season. They have taken just five points from a possible 24 and were on the wrong end of a 5-1 drubbing at Arsenal in their last match.

If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary of this Premier League clash between Fulham and West Ham at Craven Cottage.

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